Many great leaders fall into the trap of not setting priorities in their business, their family life, their management efforts, new business development, etc. When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance… essentially; we take care of what is easiest or most enjoyable first (and the other stuff gets pushed off). Believe me – it sounds fantastic to work only on tasks I find exciting and fun, until… something critical needs to be accomplished and rather than having a week to do it, you have a day. Rather than three months, you have a week. This will certainly lead to stress, panic, and the output of less than superior work. This, is no way to lead your life or your business.
To avoid this situation, begin by setting priorities. In creating priorities, more is not better. A refined list is more effective than a laundry list. Establish those few vital priorities each day or each week. Begin by listing everything out, and number each task by order of importance. Focus on the first four or five. They get the highest priority. They become your goals. Set a time frame, set smaller tasks that need to be accomplished to complete the bigger task at hand and keep in check. By putting the importance on the big picture stuff, you will find time for the smaller stuff in your day. The converse, is not true.
So, use your calendar in Outlook or on your blackberry, purchase a planner, utilize an assistant, and create to-do lists. Utilize the tools around you and begin to take control of the tasks ahead of you by prioritizing. It is the first step towards successful leadership and taking control of your life.
I would love to read your comments on how you prioritize and set goals and the tools you use in your daily life.